Press Release (ePRNews.com) - Washington, D.C. - Nov 16, 2016 - The Church of Scientology National Affairs Office presented its annual humanitarian award to Ms. Cynthia Roseberry, Project Manager for Clemency Project 2014 and member of the Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections. Roseberry headed a massive pro bono legal effort resulting in 356 sentence commutations granted to date by President Obama.
The stunning growth in incarceration rates in the United States over the last forty years has resulted in the world’s largest prison population in total numbers and per capita. According to the Sentencing Project fact sheet, “Trends in U.S. Corrections,” this unprecedented growth has been fueled by long sentences to low-level drug offenders under mandatory minimum statutes. One important response to this situation was the creation in 2014 of a program that allows eligible inmates to petition the President for clemency and early release.
Clemency Project 2014 is a partnership of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, American Civil Liberties Union, American Bar Association, Families Against Mandatory Minimums, and the federal community and public defenders. Cynthia Roseberry was appointed Project Manager of Clemency Project 2014.
To date, Clemency Project 2014 has recruited and trained nearly 4,000 volunteer lawyers from diverse practice backgrounds and completed screening of 34,000 of the more than 36,000 federal prisoners who have requested volunteer assistance. Because of this work, spearheaded by Ms. Roseberry, 356 sentence commutations have been granted by the President, representing 5,000 years of spared sentences at an average of $30,600 per year, or about $153 million.
At the same time, Ms. Roseberry was appointed to the Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections where she and other members of the task force worked with criminal justice experts from across the nation, across disciplines and across the political spectrum, to study the drivers of mass incarceration in the U.S. federal criminal justice system. With support from the Urban Institute and its staff, they were able to reach consensus and make recommendations to Congress and the President, some of which can be found in proposed legislation.
Ms. Roseberry joined two others who received Humanitarian Awards during the fourth anniversary celebration of the National Affairs Office.
The Church of Scientology National Affairs Office was conceived to address and promote collaboration on solutions to the challenging social issues confronting America and is dedicated to the support of the Church’s humanitarian efforts through Church-supported, broad-based, secular social betterment programs that address literacy, drug education and rehabilitation, criminal rehabilitation, human rights education and morality. The office also conducts public policy work in those areas and in criminal justice reform and international religious freedom.
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